Monday, January 14, 2013

Take Action Even if It Pushes Your Comfort Zone

Act #14:  Be that "Somebody"

As I write this blog, one-third of my colleagues are pulling all-nighters.  They are not partying (although they may be drinking a bit of wine), or spending time with their families, or watching the Golden Globe awards - but they are all pulling together pieces of a grant that, if funded, will allow the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center to reach more victims of violence in hard-to-reach historically underrepresented areas.  It will allow us to partner with faith leaders, and ethnic/cultural leaders to help us find effective approaches to eradicate sexual violence in different ways and in broader, more diverse communities.  

These colleagues are not grant-writers.  In fact most have never written a grant in their lives.  They are counselors, educators, and therapists who earn just a tiny fraction of the immense contributions they make.  They are not doing this because they were asked to, nor are they doing this to please their boss.  They are not seeking praise, raises, or accolades.  They are doing this simply because someone needed to, and they chose to be that someone.  They believe in a world free of sexual violence - so whole-heartedly, that they will do whatever it takes, even if it is unfamiliar, even if it pushes their comfort zone. 

They are today's face of the anti-violence movement.  They are my colleagues and I watch them every day as they sit knee-to-knee in hospital rooms with women who have just been raped, as they advocate for the rights of survivors in court, as they accompany individuals in their journeys of healing and life-long trauma.  Their work is all too real and they know that their efforts tonight will be worth every waking minute if it allows them to reach even one more victim, and even one more ally to help them in their fight.  Their titles and areas of expertise do not limit the ways that they choose to contribute to the movement.  They will not stop until they work themselves out of a job, and they dare dream of the day that their services will no longer be needed. When's the last time you wondered why someone wouldn't take action?   When's the last time you chose to be that someone?

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